The Carmelo Anthony trade rumors have picked up alongside all the free agency rumors this summer. But, unlike the big free agents out there, Carmelo does not have the option of becoming a free agent until this time next year.
This has sparked a whirlwind of rumors about whether the Nuggets will trade Carmelo before this season, sign him to an extension, or wait and see what happens next summer.
We may know more about Carmelo's future in Denver soon, but before then, there are five reasons why the Nuggets' franchise player should think about playing elsewhere.
Aside from his rookie season, George Karl is the only coach Carmelo Anthony has known. 'Melo has credited Karl on numerous occasions not only for the success of the team overall, but for his development as a player.
Karl is in the midst of another serious illness for the second time in his tenure as Nuggets head coach. Karl, who is pushing 60 years old, has run the gauntlet of illnesses and likely doesn't have many years left on the Nuggets bench.
Rather than relearn a new style with a new head coach during the smack of his prime years, Carmelo is better off going to a team which could elevate into a legitimate title contender with his arrival.
With the chance that the Knicks do not sign LeBron James or Dwyane Wade (a prospect that is growing more likely), the Knicks will pocket what they have left of their cap space following the Amar'e Stoudemire deal and wait for Carmelo.
It is no secret that the Knicks have kept him as a contingency for next summer, and barring a trade this summer, the Knicks will have their shot.
Amar'e Stoudemire, who is set to sign with the New York Knicks later this week, went on record in the New York Daily News stating that Carmelo would join him in New York if he signs there.
Not only Carmelo, but Spurs point guard Tony Parker would be in the mix as well. If Stoudemire can make that happen, Carmelo needs to do whatever is necessary to make that trio happen and raise the Knicks back to the top half of the Eastern Conference.
The Nuggets are trying to lock up Carmelo to a 3-year, $65 million contract extension. That would secure Carmelo's immediate future in Denver and give him a sense of security given the forthcoming work turmoil destined for the NBA.
However, Carmelo could also roll the dice next season by opting out and seeking a long term, max-contract deal that would give him more money and security over a longer period of time.
The Nuggets finished in the top half of the conference last season, reaching the Western Conference Semifinals. However, the team is not getting any younger. The average age of the Nuggets roster is over 27 years old, which makes it one of the 10 oldest rosters in the league.
Chauncey Billups, 33, is still playing at a very high level, but 32-year-old Kenyon Martin is on his last legs. Aaron Afflalo and Ty Lawson provide young promise, but the Nuggets are hitting a questionable time in their roster, making it the right time for Carmelo to make his exit.